- June 2, 2022
Falsehoods of Fitness: Weightlifting is Good for the Joints
You’ve likely heard the myth that weightlifting is good for the joints. And yes, it’s just a myth. While traditional strength training can increase muscle and tendon strength it’s not the safest or most effective long-term solution.
Read on to learn why, and discover an alternative that could transform your body—and life—forever.
Where Weightlifting Went Wrong
Traditional weight training exercises overload the weakest part of the movement when the joints are in the most compromised position. For example, when knees are deeply bent at the bottom of your squat, or when wrists and shoulders are compromised at the starting point of your bench press.
The strength of a joint is reduced 1 when the joint is flexed or bent. We know from practice that the bottom of the squat is the most challenging. It’s also the riskiest.
Think about it. Powerlifters, bodybuilders, and average gym goers frequently perform a partial range of motion when lifting to work just the top range of the lift where they’re strongest.
Rack pulls, block pulls, bench squats, and reverse band lifts are all designed to overload the top part of an exercise because the full movement is limited by weakness at the bottom.
Full range of motion with heavy weights is more effective 2 for building strength, but also more effective at damaging joints. One study 3 found 82% of 213 strongman competitors experienced injury, with the lower back and shoulder being the most common sites.
A similar study 4 found over 43% of 245 powerlifters experienced joint pain during their workouts. Finally, another study 5 found over 45% of 71 competitive bodybuilders reported injury symptoms, with athletes over 40 showing higher rates of injury.
Although these injury rates are relatively low compared to contact sports, they still affect training and quality of life. Not to mention, there are safer and more effective ways to build strength.
If Not Traditional Weightlifting, Then What?
You may be thinking, ‘I’ve been bench pressing for years. What should I do instead?’ Don’t worry, there are safer alternatives that are even more effective.
Variable resistance is a powerful method of training that greatly combats the risk of joint injury. It typically involves the use of resistance bands; however, it can also be employed through the use of chains and machines.
Resistance bands offer a load that better matches the natural force output curve generated by the muscles. Resistance bands can be used on their own or in conjunction with a barbell to provide greater resistance in the strongest portion of the lift, such as the top of the bench press or the top of the deadlift while protecting your joints at the weakest part of your lifts.
Not only is variable resistance safer for the joints, but it’s also scientifically proven to cause greater gains in elite athletes 6, semi-athletic individuals 7, and untrained individuals 8. Due to its effectiveness, variable resistance using resistance bands or chains is a staple in many strength and conditioning and powerlifting programs across the world.
The X3 System
Despite its negative effect on joints, weight lifting has survived as a staple for so long because it allows for the heavy lifts needed to build muscle. Typical resistance bands are made of a weak, petroleum-based material that snaps when enough force is applied, never allowing for the resistance needed to stimulate muscle growth. But now, there’s a better solution.
The X3 Bar System is a novel training system designed to maximize muscle growth and convenience while minimizing joint stress. X3 offers superior resistance bands made from latex that provide the challenge needed to trigger muscular hypertrophy. The X3 Elite Band safely provides over 600 pounds of resistance.
Because X3 incorporates an Olympic-style bar, the interface is familiar to weight lifters and comfortably protects the wrists and ankles.
To save your joints and prevent the risk of injury, it’s recommended to switch to X3 exclusively.
No gym? No problem. X3 workouts can be done practically anywhere. Several professional athletes and teams, such as the Miami Heat take X3 on the road while traveling.
While X3 is an effective supplementary strength tool, you will trigger greater gains by replacing all of your gym sessions with X3 workouts.
The X3 bar system offers a joint-friendly workout that offers even greater gains than traditional weight lifting. It lessens the load where your joints are most compromised and maximizes the challenge when you’re in your strongest position.
No Weights, No Cardio
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